What can straight people do to support gay rights? How much work or sacrifice must allies take on to do their share? Ian Ayres and Jennifer Brown--law professors, activists, husband and wife--propose practical strategies for helping straight men and women advocate for and with the gay community.
Straightforward advances a thesis that is at once simple and groundbreaking: to make real progress at the central flashpoints of controversy--marriage rights, employment discrimination, gays in the military, exclusion from the Boy Scouts, and religious controversies over homosexuality--straight as well as gay people need to speak up and act for equality. Ayres and Brown take aim at both the hearts and minds of the general public, focusing on strategies that can change the incentives and therefore the behavior of the recalcitrant.
The book is peppered with stories about real people and the decisions they have faced at home, in church, at work, in school, and in politics. It is also filled with creative legal and economic strategies for influencing public and corporate decision-making. For example, Ayres and Brown propose the development of a "fair employment mark" to help companies advertise inclusive employment policies. They also show how a simple pledge to vacation in states that legalize gay marriage can create powerful incentives for legislatures to amend their marriage laws.
Engagingly written and sure to spark debate, Straightforward promises to change the way America thinks about--and participates in--the gay rights movement.
"Ayres and Brown approach the subject of advocacy . . . by positing the notion of heterosexual privilege and its concomitant responsibility to make society more inclusive to its gay citizens."--Library Journal
"Accessible and consistently engaging, the book is certain to stimulate both casual and classroom discussion. . . . Straght-forward ultimately delivers in its promise to provide a practical guide to action by offering innovative economic and legal tactics for influencing public and corporate policy."--Tony Peregrin, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide
"No civil rights movement is ever won solely by those who are the primary targets of discrimination. Gay rights are merely non-gay rights made available to all, and all Americans have a stake in a nation that treats us all fairly. In Straightforward, Jennifer Gerarda Brown and Ian Ayres start the brainstorming on creative ways that non-gay people can raise their majority voices, wield their clout, and do their part to achieve equal rights for all, including their gay loved ones and fellow citizens."--Evan Wolfson, author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry
"Straightforward provides an important and much-needed guidebook for enlisting straight Americans to the cause of gay rights. Just as the civil-rights movement of the 1960s called upon blacks and whites to band together to achieve social gains, Ayres and Brown make the case for a new gay-straight alliance as a force for expanding not just gay rights but broad human rights for all Americans."--Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class.
Table of Contents:
Preface ix Chapter 1: Heterosexual Allies and the Gay Rights Movement 1
Part I. Exercising Privilege
Chapter 2: Parenting, Parishes, PTAs, and Places of Employment 17
Chapter 3: The Vacation Pledge for Equal Marriage Rights 60
Chapter 4: The Fair Employment Mark 79
Part II. Disabling Privilege
Chapter 5: Ambiguation 97
Chapter 6: The Inclusive Command: Voluntary Integration of the U.S. Military 116
Part III. Renouncing Privilege
Chapter 7: Boy Scouts of America The Informed Association Statute 145
Chapter 8: Renounce or Share? 162
Chapter 9: Working with Advocating Gay Rights Organizations 178